The Personal Representative of the Italian Chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, on Thursday (17 May) had his first meeting with the new Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.
Ambassador Kasprzyk congratulated Minister Mnatsakanyan on his appointment as Foreign Minister and wished him success in his mission.
Ambassador Kasprzyk briefed the Foreign Minister of Armenia on the results of the meeting held with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan in Paris, Armenian Foreign Ministry sources told the media. "Minister Mnatsakanyan reaffirmed Armenia's commitment to the exclusively peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, highlighting in this regard the importance of implementing previously reached agreements", the sources added.
Commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that this was the first contact between the OSCE Minsk Process on Karabakh with the new Armenian leadership. Kasprzyk, who is a veteran of the process having been special envoy of successive OSCE Chairmanships for more than two decades, has had to move fast to establish contacts with a new set of players in the tightly knit Karabakh peace process. Until last week this group - including only the two presidents and the two foreign ministers had been made up of the same four men for more than ten years. The representatives of the Minsk Group co-Chair countries - the United States, Russia and France, are expected in the region next month. Kasprzyk is laying the groundwork for this visit, and also trying to assess what if anything, has changed in the negotiation position of Yerevan.
photo: The new Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan met with OSCE Envoy Andrzej Kasprzyk in Yerevan on 17 May 2018 (picture courtesy of the press service of the Armenian Foreign Ministry)
On Tuesday, PACE approved a resolution that will allow the Russian delegation to take part in the Assembly's June session. The resolution was backed by 118 members, 62 parliamentarians voted against it, while 10 abstained.
In the Karabakh peace process there has been a reluctance by track 1 participants to engage properly with track II initiatives. The EU supported EPNK process has shown that unconventional diplomacy has much to contribute, and its energy must now be put to good use.